PV Staff

Kandeh Yumkella, a leading aspirant for the position of presidential candidate for Sierra Leone’s main opposition party, the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), has told villagers in the north of Sierra Leone during one of his campaign tours that he might leave the SLPP, at least temporarily, if the issues in his party are not resolved.

Speaking in Krio, a language widely spoken in Sierra Leone, the former UNIDO boss (seen left in this dated photo with President Ernest Koroma of Sierra Leone) was referring to the very serious struggle for power in the SLPP between him and former military junta boss Brigadier (retired) Julius Maada Bio. Bio, who has tremendous grassroots support in the south and east of the country, seems to be gaining the upper hand in this deadly fight. He was presidential candidate in 2012 but lost to current president Ernest Koroma.

Political pundits in and out of Sierra Leone are speculating that if Bio becomes presidential candidate for the SLPP, Yumkella might leave to form his own party or join a coalition that is gathering speed in the country to unseat the ruling ruling APC in the 2018 elections.

It is also being speculated that the SLPP will lose many of its supporters and financiers with a Bio leadership after the SLPP convention slated to happen in the next few weeks or months. No date has been set yet for an SLPP convention after a court injunction put it on hold recently. The party is currently extremely divided and chaotic with factions routinely taking each other to court."

Here is Kandeh Yumkella: